Book Report – Spring 2014
The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds of Vermont
William H. Barnard, Contributor
Vermont’s breeding bird atlas of 1985 was a landmark tool for conservation and provided baseline maps of Vermont’s bird fauna. Now, after a quarter century of change, The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds of Vermont is a product of the single-largest citizen-driven science project in Vermont’s history. The volume, edited by Rosalind Renfrew of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, is the result of five years of work from 350 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who collectively spent more than 30,000 hours afield documenting breeding birds across the state. Norwich University biology professor William H. Barnard was part of that effort, contributing the Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) account.
A Most Uncertain Crusade: The United States, the United Nations, and Human Rights, 1941–1953
By Rowland Brucken
In A Most Uncertain Crusade, NU history professor Rowly Brucken analyzes the emergence of human rights as an accepted international concern and a controversial domestic issue for American policymakers during and after World War II. By focusing on officials in the State Department, at the U.N., and within domestic non-governmental organizations, the book examines why—after issuing wartime declarations that called for the enforcement of transnational human rights standards—the U.S. government refused to ratify the first U.N. treaties that fulfilled those twin purposes. The result was a loss of credibility, and international human rights law developed without substantial American support or participation.
The Generosity Path: Finding the Richness in Giving
By Mark V. Ewert VC ’95
The Generosity Path sheds new light on personal finance: connecting money to values, beliefs, and loves. Intended as a practical guide to skillfulness and strategy with regard to charitable giving, it contains inspiring stories that illustrate how financial generosity develops, what its challenges are, and the deeper benefits people might expect from being more intentional with their giving. Because money can be a sensitive issue, tools for reflection and preparation are provided to further the reader’s own ideas and actions.
The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre: An Anthology of Explorations in Creative Nonfiction
Edited by Sean Prentiss and Joe Wilkins
Though creative nonfiction has been around since Montaigne, St. Augustine, and Seneca, writers have only just begun to ask how this genre works, why it functions the way it does, and where its borders reside. But for each question asked, another five or ten rise to the surface. And each of these questions inevitably requires a convoluted series of answers. Norwich University creative writing professor Sean Prentiss and noted memoirist and poet Joe Wilkins have co-edited this fascinating anthology, which explores the historical and contemporary borderlands between fiction and nonfiction, the illusion of time on the page, the impact of technology on our writerly lives, what we write, and why we write.
The Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency
by Logan Beirne
The Blood of Tyrants follows the nation’s first commander-in-chief as he and other founding fathers struggle to define issues that are still relevant points of debate today. Washington is brought to life as both a supremely powerful “new type of dictator” and a champion of the rights and liberty of citizens of an emerging country.
The reader is swept into a delicate dance of political versus military power and authority whose outcome has defined the American presidency. Beirne leads with the idea that complicated wartime issues debated 200 years ago can inform modern conversations on leadership, federal debt, citizens’ rights, and the balance of power. His enthusiasm for the Revolutionary War era brings the period to life.
The 2014 Colby Award will be presented at the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium’s “Meet the Authors” dinner at Norwich University on April 10, 2014.